The PGA Tour has reportedly softened a key element of its COVID-19 protocols ©Getty Images

Golfers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will reportedly no longer have to be tested by the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour during its events.

According to a leaked memo reported by ESPN and Golf Digest, the PGA Tour will allow those who have been fully vaccinated to forego mandatory testing at tournaments.

Golf Digest reported the PGA Tour had informed players of the change, which represents an easing of its COVID-19 protocols, in an email this week.

"As the COVID-19 vaccine is becoming more readily available, more individuals are being vaccinated," the memo reads.

"PGA Tour Health and Safety protocol requires individuals to continue testing onsite until 14 full days have passed since their second dose (Moderna & Pfizer) or 14 full days since their single dose (Johnson & Johnson). 

"Once 14 days have passed, individuals are no longer required to take a COVID-19 test when considered 'inside the bubble' at PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions or Korn Ferry Tour events."

Spaniard Sergio Garcia is among the high-profile golfers to have tested positive for COVID-19 ©Getty Images
Spaniard Sergio Garcia is among the high-profile golfers to have tested positive for COVID-19 ©Getty Images

Several golfers, including world number one Dustin Johnson, have tested positive for COVID-19.

Former champion Sergio Garcia of Spain was forced to miss last year's Masters, held in November after it was moved from its traditional April slot because of the pandemic, following a positive test.

The PGA Tour has not made vaccines mandatory for players to be able to compete at its events.

"I think as players become vaccinated, as our constituents become vaccinated, we're hopeful that everybody will," said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. 

"But we will continue to provide testing for the foreseeable future, and hopefully, as we get to a high percentage of our players that have been vaccinated, we can start to pull back from the programme that we know it as of today. 

"It's hard to determine when that will be, but clearly we see light at the end of the tunnel, and...the conversations we're having with players and with everybody in our ecosystem have been very positive.

"I think players are eager to get vaccinated and are certainly studying this."